There Is No Cat

The alternative to flowers!

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Pool in hell

I suppose that one reason posting here has slowed down a bit recently is that I've been spending time I would have previously spent blogging playing Blogshares. For a little while, it was really engrossing. But I'm coming to the conclusion that the world just isn't rich enough. It's too easy to figure out the assumptions made in the programming of the site and work them to your advantage. A number of players have figured out how to game the system in such a way as to make a growing balance utterly predictable. If you look at a blog and notice repeated purchased of a share or two, followed by a sell-off of ten or so shares, then more single share purchases, you can be pretty sure the blog has been hit by speculators who are driving the price up. And the price always seems to go up; it rarely seems to go down. There appears to be virtually no risk. If you buy shares in a blog that has a high "P/E" ratio, you may not gain a whole lot, but you're pretty much guaranteed not to lose your nut.

The whole thing reminds me of a story, I think it was an episode of The Twilight Zone, where a pool player dies. He winds up in a place sumptuously outfitted with the finest pool table, best cues, finest chalk, etc. He thinks he's in heaven. He plays, and plays, and plays, and plays better than he ever did in real life. There's no shot he can't make. The balls seem drawn to the pockets as if with magnets. And eventually our pool playing friend realizes that it's taken all the enjoyment out of the game for him. There's no risk. There's no uncertainty. There's no chance. There's no fun. Our friend has found himself in hell.

That's Blogshares.

I think it could use a serious recession. Maybe it's time to dump my shares and invest in blog bonds.

Posted at 7:40 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I meant to play around a bit with the social side of Blogshares, but got distracted. The game itself rather quickly struck me as being too much like every computer game. As you say, you just look for the programmer's assumptions. The first computer game that ever hooked me was Lunar Lander, on the HP-41C calculator: it counted down the distance and rate of descent, and you triggered burns trying to land instead of crashing. After a while, I started smelling that there was a perfect solution, and then didn't take too long to find it: wait for a particular moment, do one burn this long, wait for a perfect landing. I was so disappointed.

Posted by Phil Ringnalda at 1:21 AM, June 12, 2003 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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